durntaur t1_jav4xeu wrote

I was literally having this conversation with my wife at dinner tonight.

It's becoming double plus ungood.

She provided some really good examples and all I could think of is how tech filters are causing people to use words like "unalive". Seriously, we're building the future dystopians that were written as fiction (and warnings) decades ago.


durntaur t1_j41h34g wrote

I'm having trouble taking the article seriously when Johnny Depp is the introductory example after being all but absolved of the Amber Heard debacle. It would make a better introduction for a treatment on the problem with the court of public opinion.

Please don't mistake this for a defense of people like Cosby, Allen, and the like.


durntaur t1_j3v9xv2 wrote

Please explain how you came to the conclusion that that is "what [I am] saying".

And shoehorning in the concept of the afterlife at this point shifts the argument of defining so-called "true evil" or "true villain[y]" as per your declaration that there is no greater evil than slavery. Again, this regresses to moral relativism, which your treatment eschewed. And it still doesn't absolve Thanos, Ego, or any genocidal figure from reality of their evil; in your treatment you seem to apologize (i.e. defend) Thanos and Ego:

>So we have three villains. One ugly bad guy who basically wants to get rid of bad guys^(1). One charismatic actor representing a beautiful world who wants to fix broken people^(2). And one horrific volcanic rock in humanioid form who turns the purest and most powerful superhero in human history into an enslaved weapon of mass destruction.

Your latest conclusion that Thanos gets ranked higher because there is no afterlife exposes the horrific philosophy that if there is an afterlife then genocide becomes more justifiable. Let God sort them out, amiright?

^(1)Thanos's Snap was indiscriminate, it affected the good and the evil alike.

^(2)Ego wasn't fixing anything. In fact, by your standard he was trying to enslave (and thereby eradicate) all beings across the entire universe via the Expansion.


durntaur t1_j3v4ab6 wrote

Let's clarify positions:

  • Your position is that Thanos wasn't indiscriminate.
  • u/yungyakitz was arguing that your claim that Thanos only killed bads guys, thus not being indiscriminate, is not supported by the source material. That is, he was indiscriminate with The Snap, "good" and "bad" people were dusted alike.
  • My reply is an acknowledgement of agreement with u/yungyakitz, i.e. the supposition that Thanos was not discriminate, as present in your treatment, is wrong. I then elaborate that being indiscriminate (with regard to The Snap) would be critical to Thanos by virtue of his pathology.

I appreciate your most recent clarification of your position, but I stand by the position that The Snap was indiscriminate by necessity.


durntaur t1_j3t33y7 wrote

I agree; I believe you conclude it to be "[c]haos". But it seems that where Dardseid is evaluated for his evil exercise of agency more weight is given to free will (i.e. freedom) as an unassailable virtue not to be violated because slavery is bad. That is, Darkseid's agency is bad because it violates good agency. Thus we're back to a relativistic critique of good and evil which countermands the established definition of WORKS vs. BROKEN.

So what are your definitions of free will and what constitutes slavery?

Because when I read the following it seems to suggest that the denial of agency (i.e. free will) is the measure of true evil. I can't think of anything more obstructive to my agency than being denied my existence a la The Snap.

>If you ask me, there is no greater evil than slavery, and there is no more perfect presentation of the evil of slavery than the corruption of the most powerful icon of good in superhero history into a destroyer of worlds.


durntaur t1_j3swt7c wrote

Wait, I missed that in Infinity War or you're incorrect.

When Stark and Thanos have their final conversation he states "I hope they remember you". This was a criticism of Stark's (and the Avengers) attempt stop inevitability (or destiny) which Thanos believed he embodied. It was a statement that Thanos believed that all survivors of The Snap would remember Stark's futility.

Just as Thanos is about to then deliver a coup de grâce Dr. Strange barters the Time Stone under the condition that Thanos doesn't outright kill him. This is not the same as excluding Stark from The Snap. For all Thanos knew, Stark had a 50% chance of being dusted anyway. Dr. Strange, on the other hand, had the benefit of knowing that Stark was destined to survive The Snap.

There is nothing indicating that Thanos made any exceptions in the The Snap. Indeed, it would be antithetical for him to make any exception when his whole schtick was balance.

I'm open to correction in this regard if there is some evidence contained within the films that prove an exception.


durntaur t1_j3rup4h wrote

I think one of the biggest problems in this treatment are the contradicting suppositions that are not squared then subsequently used as parameters for defining "absolute evil". Forget about who's the biggest, baddest, evilest comic book villain.

First there is the definition of good and evil which is distilled down to that which WORKS and that which is BROKEN. That's fine and for the sake of discussion I can conditionally accept that definition. However, where the argument begins to collapse is the silent establishment of free will as an unassailable virtue and representation of good (or that which WORKS) and subsequently establishing philosophical libertarianism as the representation of freedom. That is, "there is no greater evil than slavery".

The problem is that free will is neither the agent of good nor the agent of evil. It falls in the realm of the kalon/kakon polarity and we're now back to moral relativism as the treatment suggests is inadequate for defining good and evil; i.e. we're no longer talking in terms of what WORKS and what is BROKEN. At this point the argument for what comic book villain is absolute evil is no longer working within the parameters established from the outset.

I will try to abbreviate this post by including my initial criticism of philosophical libertarianism as the representation of freedom by stating that it falls apart in practice because that which pleases me but does not please you ultimately results in might makes right and the subsequent denial of freedom to those with less power.